Bodysurf Scotland's Uprise Dance Festival: Relaxed Performances

Photo of a man dancing on a beach.

Bringing modern dance to the beaches and ice-rinks of the Highlands, Bodysurf Scotland have written this article for Euan’s Guide about two creative and inspired relaxed performances, including a production by Marc Brew, that will be performed at their upcoming dance festival, Uprise.

Bodysurf Scotland is a contemporary dance promoter based in Findhorn, Moray. We’re passionate about dance and making it accessible to everyone in our community. In 2013, we launched our #Everybody #Dance #Now programme, which features ongoing dance and movement classes for children with additional support needs in the Highlands. 

Our Uprise Dance Festival is fast approaching and we’re continuing our ethos of accessibility by including a number of relaxed performances – welcoming and made suitable for people with both physical and learning disabilities, and their families/carers. 

(i)Land – Marc Brew Company

Friday 4th September (2pm and 6pm) and Saturday 5th September (11am and 2pm), Roseisle Beach, Moray.

Created by Artistic Director and Choreographer, Marc Brew, ‘(i)Land’ is a dance performance that follows three characters faced with life on a deserted island as they uncover the means of escape back to civilisation. Drawing influence from such stories as ‘The Lord of the Flies’, ‘Castaway’ and the legends of the Highland Clearances, ‘(i)Land’ is an engaging half-hour that encourages audiences to challenge their perception of the body and the politics of disability, isolation, exclusion, ingenuity and invention.

Marc Brew works with both disabled and non-disabled artists. Grounded in contemporary technique and classical ballet, his choreography draws upon the strengths of each performer, helping them to find new ways to work with their bodies. With extensive experience as a dancer and choreographer with a disability, Marc Brew challenges performer’s expectations of their own limitations, inspiring both the company and audiences. Read Marc Brew's interview with Euan's Guide here.

Flyer for (i)Land showing  a man dancing on a beach.

What makes (i)Land a relaxed performance?

Bodysurf Scotland chose Roseisle Beach as the setting to hold ‘(i)Land’ as part of Uprise Dance Festival. Roseisle Beach is accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility, with paths leading from the car park to the beach, dedicated parking and toilet facilities.

The performance itself has not been changed, however, ‘(i)Land’ was chosen because:

• It contains limited theatrical lighting that may cause anxiety (such as blackouts or strobing).

• Although amplified music/sound is used, the location is such that audiences can leave the performance area to find a quiet place at any time.

• The performance is thirty minutes long, meaning that audiences do not need to sit/stand and concentrate for long durations.

• The performance includes both disabled and non-disabled performers.

• ‘(i)Land’ has been performed in a variety of locations, including busy high streets, meaning that the performers are used to people making noise and moving around.

Vertical Influences – Le Patin Libre

Saturday 5th September (6.30pm and 8.30pm), Inverness Ice Centre, Inverness

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s first contemporary ice-skaters, Le Patin Libre, bring their double-bill 'Vertical Influences' to Inverness. The new double-bill is an explosion of the company’s signature mix of movement, wit, speed and grace that combines the virtuosity of award-winning figure skating with the attitude of street dance and the sophistication of contemporary performance. Split into two halves 'Influences' explores how our body language can influences others even with a simple glance, whilst 'Vertical' invites audiences to view a pure and intense glide up close, with seating on the ice.

Flyer for Vertical Influences showing dancing figure-skaters.

What makes Vertical Influences a relaxed performance?

Bodysurf Scotland chose Inverness Ice Centre as the setting to hold “Vertical Influences” as part of Uprise Dance Festival. Inverness Ice Centre has disabled access throughout, with dedicated parking, and toilet facilities.

The performance has not been changed, however, ‘Vertical Influences’ was chosen because:

• Each piece is twenty-five minutes long, with a twenty-minute interval, meaning that audiences do not need to sit or concentrate for long durations. 

• Although amplified music/sound and theatrical lighting will be used, audience members who wish to view the performance from a distance to reduce anxiety can do so by accessing the upstairs viewing gallery. This space can also be used by people who are likely to make noise or want to move around during the performances.

Uprise Dance Festival follows on from the inaugural Rise Dance Festival in 2014, and Wee Rise Dance Festival (for children aged 0-5) in May 2015. The festival is aimed at, but not exclusive to, young people aged 12-25 and a number of dance classes for all ages and abilities will be on offer. 

We hope that Uprise Dance Festival will inspire young people to get involved with our #Everybody #Dance #Now programme. Our newly appointed Dance Development Officer is keen to speak to anyone who would like to get involved. For more information or to book, please telephone 01309 691661 or visit www.bodysurfscotland.co.uk.

Tags: dance, relaxed performance

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